Among other things, Sea Room is a study of human strategies for survival over millennia, of the fragility and tenacity of a culture built in a climate-pounded place of meagre resources. These islands were inhabited from the Bronze Age until the population declined from the seventeenth century on, and the work of archaeologists and chroniclers, including Nicolson, paints a picture both touching and humbling.
‘The place-names of the Shiants record not memories but forgetfulness, the washing away of human lives, the fragility and tissue-thin vulnerability of human culture to the erosion of time.’
See also a quote-rich mosaic review of this magnificent, entrancing book: a love letter to islands and a paean to the sea.
Source: Adam Nicolson, Sea Room: An Island Life (London: Harper Collins, 2013 (2002)), p. 74